It is very important for disabled people and people with mental health difficulties to influence policy making. A policy sets out rules, laws or the way things need to be. They are written in national government and locally in councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups. These policies influence the way we all live and come to think about the world around us.

Disabled people and people with mental health difficulties, like many others, have traditionally been left out of policy making. This is gradually improving but often people’s views and experiences seem to be an add on, something that has to happen but will probably not end up greatly influencing the end result.

Changing Our Lives works alongside disabled people and people with mental health difficulties and we creatively facilitate a range of ways to ensure people are at the heart of policy making and influencing current thinking. Some of these ways include People’s Parliaments, Ideas Festivals, Keep Up events, Citizens' Panels, Challenge Boards as well as campaigning and researching.


Enabling Independence


This report looks at the impact of our programme of training and development on a staff team in a short break service.

Sky’s the Limit

This project worked with disabled young people from Wolverhampton with the aim of putting them in control of their own lives.

 Real Lives, Real Homes

This is an example of a Quality of Life review. It focussed on the quality of life of 60 people with learning disabilities living in supported living in Sandwell.


 An introduction to coproduction

This short guide explains the basic principles underlying coproduction, the benefits and some examples.


 Quality of Life Standards and Toolkit

Quality of Life Mental Health Standards

Quality of Health Principles